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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news.

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CNN

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01:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

U.s. 9, Us 7, Damascus 5, Pakistan 5, Obama 5, Libya 5, Brayden 4, Cnn 4, Howie 4, Iowa 3, Bashar Al Assad 3, Romney 2, Syria 2, Florida 2, Motorola 2, Lisa 2, Univision 2, Cia 2, Barack Obama 2, The Nation 2,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional  
   reporting and online resources update international news.  

    September 22, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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proved that leaning to the left makes the eiffel tower seem smaller. all right. got to have a little fun. pretty cool stuff there. now you know. i'm don lemon at cnn world headquarters. see you back in an hour from now. president obama is about to take the stage at a rally in milwaukee. you can watch it live, cnn.com/live. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer is right now. you're in "the situation room". under fire. mitt romney reboots his campaign as he and president obama court an important voting bloc. also, jesus talking about his wife? a scrap of ancient text revives an ancient debate. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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mitt romney's getting ready to climb back aboard his campaign bus and hit the road with a retooled strategy. between now and next month, presidential debates, he'll be making more frequent public appearances, highlighting his proposals to try to revive the u.s. economy. however, many republica are grumbling that romney's campaign itself is in dire need of a revival, especially after a secretly recorded complaints that the 47% of voters who support the president are dependent on the government. >> when you express an attitude that half the country considers itselves victims, that somehow they want to be dependent on government, my thinking is, maybe you haven't gotten around a lot. >> this is a campaign about the 100%. i've demonstrated my capacity to
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help the 100%. >> after listening to a week's worth of criticism of her husband, especially from other republicans, romney's wife, ann, has had enough. >> stop it. this is hard. you want to try it? get in the ring. it is time for all americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we have to have someone with mitt's qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country. >> joining us now, cnn's chief political analyst, gloria borger, and our senior political analyst, ron bronstein. both of you have written excellent columns. gloria, let me read a line from your piece that went out on cnn.com. "there is a real sense from those inside and republicans outside the campaign that waiting for romney to rescue himself at the first debate, set for october 3rd s a bad idea." explain what you mean there.
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>> well, in talking to people inside the campaign, there's a real sense that they have to start shaping the political environment rather than just reacting to the political environment, which is what they've been doing. and what they're trying to do is appeal to the increasing number of voters who believe that mitt romney doesn't understand or care about their problems. when you look at the polls, by about a 3-to-1 margin, people think that president obama better understands their problems. and that kind of a number is unsustainable if you're going to win the presidency. what they're trying to do, according to these sources, is personalize, as they put it, mitt romney's economic message, which is try to be more specific about how his economic policies would fix the economy and how the president's wouldn't. and they haven't ruled out giving a major domestic policy speech, etch before the first debate. >> in the "national journal," you wrote this, ron, his fate isn't sealed but the choices he
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made in the primaries have left him with a path to victory so narrow that it might daunt indiana jones. what choices are you talking about? >> look, i think the fundamental problem mitt romney faces in the fall is that in the spring, he lacked the confidence that he could beat a field no more formidable than rick perry, newt gingrich and rick santorum without moving sharply to the right on a number of issues that have narrowed his appeal in the general election. two jump out. the biggest thing he did in the spring was use immigration at his cudgel to try to argue that gingrich and perry were insignificant. and you can see that now exceeding the 66% of hispanic that is he won in 2008. even though unemployment among hispanics has been in double digits. the other critical thing is in the spring, romney did not disassociate, in fact joined in a significant movement to the right on social issues. again, you can see the result of that in polling showing that
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while obama's support among most whites have declined, he is still running right at or even above the 52% he won among college-educated white women in 2008. that's left mitt romney with a very narrow path to the presidency. if obama can hold the 80% among hispanics and the colle college-educated women, it's a tall order. >> republicans traditionally in primaries, presidential primaries, they run to the right. then if they wirngs they become the nominee, they head right back to the center. some have described that as an etch-a-sketch moment, if you will. have we been seeing that from romney? >> that's why the 47% was so damaging, that tape. he was effectively writing off half the electorate. not only that, he was writing off people who were for him, say in 2010, who were for the republicans, senior citizens went for republicans in 2010.
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they're on social security. veterans are on social security. people who pay payroll taxes pay taxes and might get some tax benefits for their kids. he was essentially writing off the very people that he needs to attract right now. and that's why he had to come out in the univision thing and say, this is about the 100%, it's not about the 47%. he doesn't need to narrow his base, he needs to enlarge his base. >> he's got some problems. our poll of polls. this is an average of the major polls, likely voters are out there right now. right now, we have nationally obama, 49%. romney, 44%. that's a significant advantage nationally. does that similarly translate into the state poll that is you're seeing in the battleground states? >> yes, absolutely. there's enormous demographic consistency from state to state. we have our poll out this week, 53 to 43. similar to that. and the story is that obama is
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reassembling in all of those polls -- at least for now -- he is reassembling what i call the coalition from 2008. he did best in 2008 among groups that are themselves growing in society. and you can see in this polling his numbers are returning to his '08 levels among those three key groups -- young, minorities, and white collar whites, especially women. they're all coming back to his '08 levels leaving romney with a narrow pathway. >> if you look at hispanic voters, mitt romney is even behind where john mccain was at this point in 2008. so that's a real problem for him. also catholic voters, something he might want to try and appeal to, given the importance of the state of ohio for him, he's really behind with catholic voters. so, again, it's a very difficult job for him right now to get those people to come on board and give him a fresh look.
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they'll obviously try and do at the debate. that's very important. that's why there's a feeling you have to do something a little sooner. >> the most significant divergence between the national polls and the state polls is that in the midwestern battlegrounds of michigan, iowa, ohio and wisconsin, obama is running better than he is nationally belong the blue collar whites. that's the most significant divergence and it's working in his favor. >> ron, gloria, thanks very much. the critical battleground state of florida was back in the spotlight this week with both candidates fighting for a voting bloc so powerful it could hand the election in november. first mitt romney made his case to a forum of latino voters. then it was president obama's turn. cnn's white house correspondent brianna keilar is joining us with the latest details. >> reporter: no surprise immigration was a top topic during this forum. president obama saying his biggest failure as president was not getting comprehensive
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immigration reform done. but he said it wasn't for a lack of trying or desire and he blamed congressional republicans. as president obama courted the hispanic vote in a forum on the spanish language univision network. he got some tough questions, co-host jorge ramos asked about his 2008 pledge to tackle immigration reform in his first term. >> this is very important. i don't want it to get lost in translation. you promised them and a promise is a promise. with all due respect, you didn't keep that promise. >> i did not make a promise that i would get everything done 100% when i was elected as president. what i promised was that i would work every single day as hard as i can to make sure that everybody in this country, regardless of who they are, what they look like, where they come from, that they would have a fair shot at the american dream. and i have -- that promise i've kept. >> reporter: the president
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touted his recent executive order to buy time from deportation for so-called dreamers, young undocumented immigrants. >> if you heard their stories, there's no way that you would think it was fair or just for us to have them suffering under a cloud of deportation. >> reporter: but max civilia says voters still have concerns. >> president obama had more explaining to do. the latino community is suffering because of the downturn in the economy. there have been more deportations under this administration than any prior administration. >> reporter: if president obama has some explaining to do to this growing voter bloc, mitt romney has much more. >> candidate romney has taken some positions that really clash with the priorities of the community. >> reporter: romney tried to soften his language on wednesday while at the univision conference.
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he said in the republican primary he would veto the dream act, calling instead for a more permanent immigration solution. he also called for making it so difficult for illegal immigrants to find work that they would, quote, self-deport. and he called arizona's controversial citizenship verification law a model for the nation. the latest gallup poll shows president obama with a 40-point lead among hispanic voters, that's roughly equivalent to the margin then senator obama had over john mccain in 2008 when hispanic voters helped propel him to victory. hispanic voters are increasing in number and could be crucial in key battleground states like florida, north carolina, virginia, colorado and nevada. it is a must for president obama to energize hispanic voters, inspire them to go out to the polls so that he can maintain that lead that he has in the polls over mitt romney, wolf. as you know, back in 2004, george w. bush, then the incumbent, did uncharacteristically well with hispanics for a republican and
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that was key to keeping him in the white house. >> certainly was. thanks very much, brianna keilar, over at the white house. serious deadly civil war, up close, rare reporting from inside the capital of damascus. our own nic robertson was there. plus, disturbing new details of the deadly attack that killed the united states ambassador. we're going to get them straight. the new information coming in from libya's prime minister. all? droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr.
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it's hard to believe but in syria, the civil war is intensifying. activists say more than 26,000 people have been killed. our senior international correspondent nic robertson got rare access inside the capital of damascus. he's joining us now from beirut. nic, thanks very much. what due see there? how did it go? what surprised you? >> reporter: i think the complexity surprises me, wolf. we know syria is a very complex country with a lot of different sort of sectarian groups there.
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but also, you realize -- and damascus is an exact example of it as the conflict is reaching the capital, it is the poorer neighborhoods that have been bearing the brunt of the violence of the government shelling and bombing campaigns. why? because it's in those neighborhoods where the feeling to overthrow bashar al assad was stronger. that's where people rose up. you have this cycle now of rebellion, then repression, then reprisa reprisals. we went into a neighborhood where the government had just been bombing it for about two weeks, bombing, shelling it for about two weeks. we went back through government checkpoints. as soon as we got in, we found the free syrian army were still there. there's no decisive battle being fought. that's the picture that emerges. the bombing and shelling from the center of damascus. b this is going to be a very, very long and slow war. >> how strong did the syrian
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leader, bashar al assad, seem to be based on the limited access that you had in damascus? >> reporter: we really have to stress the limited access, wolf, because we were really given very, very limited permission for shooting and filming. and we weren't able to talk to any soldiers. you don't really get inside the people that are fighting for the regime to know their sort of inner feelings and thoughts. but we did talk to the population there. part of them definitely support bashar al assad and agree with his view that the operation terrorists, they're fearful and buy into the government message. many of them are foreign islamic radicals that are coming into the country. then there's this middle ground that don't like the president's killing but are equally afraid this opposition that doesn't have a clear political view that has many different groups fighting in it could -- not come to power but could just sort of create a power vacuum in the country. they're very afraid of that.
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there's a large segment of the population caught in the middle. they're not sure they want the free syrian army as well. but want a change. so it's very, very complex. it's a very uneasy feeling. and to determine how strong is assad, he's got his machine there, the military machine, the police machine, the intelligence machine, this militia force, they're all there. it all appears to be strong from the outside. and the opposition doesn't really have the numbers to go against it. but neither does the government with all its tanks and artillery, have the capability to deliver a knockout blow. it's turning into a sort of urban gorilril guerrilla warfar cases. >> nic robertson, thank you.
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to libya now. we're learning more about the attack that took the life of ambassador chris stevens and three other americans. arwa damon sat down with the new libyan prime minister. >> reporter: it's been nearly ten days since this attack took place. how much closer are you to bringing the perpetrators to justice? >> so far, we have detained about eight people who have been part of the attack on that night. and we have identified some of the leaders who right now we're pursuing. >> reporter: these individuals, which group are they affiliated with? >> the ones we are looking for, we think most of hem are from sprinter groups. really, they are far extremists. >> reporter: were there any foreigners amongst them ties to groups like al qaeda? >> no, they're all libyaens.
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>> reporter: have you then determine this had attack was preplanned? >> i think it is. i think it is. the way it has taken place, the way they have done it, it's clear this group planned it. it's not a spontaneous thing that took place that night, no. >> reporter: these groups have existed for quite some time now. the u.s. itself has been monitoring some of their activities in the east. why have they not been pursued before they could pose such a significant and devastating threat? >> we avoid any bloodshed taken between libyans themselves. we are not going to confront these groups tomorrow because they haven't -- unless they do as a group, they will do something which is, again, committed something which is not right, clearly we go after them. but i'm saying, as our plan, as we go on, we have to bring them back to the community, to the society. and then those who will stay as
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extremists, we have options at the right time and the right moment. >> reporter: in your meetings with the deputy secretary of state, william burns, what did you discuss and did you ask the u.s. for help? >> it is technical. it is intelligence. and also at the same time, clearly we want to train our new army, our police force, equipment for them, these are types of assistance and also planning of strategy. >> reporter: since this attack took place, there has been an increase in drone activity, the u.s. has moved its naval warships. has there been any discussion about a possible u.s. military strike? and what is your position on that? >> we are prepared to really handle this situation. and i think the administration know very well what we can do. and they're very grateful, i think, for what we have done so far.
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i think we might need help in the investigation itself. but clearly for having a strike in libya, it would throw the country into chaos if that ever happened. >> arwa damon speaking with the libyan prime minister in libya. one of the republicans' most controversial proposals involves changing medicaid. just ahead, we have an in-depth look at how a change could affect one family. e kids, britt. so how much do we owe you? that'll be $973.42. ya know, your rates and fees aren't exactly competitive. who do you think i am, quicken loans? [ spokesman ] when you refinance your mortgage with quicken loans, you'll find that our rates and fees are extremely competitive. because the last thing you want is to spend too much on your mortgage. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ♪
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in an op ed article in "usa today," mitt romney blames president obama for, quote, a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency. one of the republicans' most
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controversial proposal involves changing medicaid, the program that provides medical coverage to poor people and also pays for the coverage of millions of children as well as the elderly. cnn's lisa sylvester is taking an in-depth look into this situation. what are you finding out, lisa? >> reporter: the way medicaid works today is if you qualify, your coverage is guaranteed. mitt romney supports changing the medicaid program, giving a limited amount of money to each state to distribute how they see fit. conservatives say entitlement spending is out of control and at some point, medicaid reform will have to be taken up. but democrats argue it could hurt a lot of families like this one from iowa. evan, jacob and brayden, playing like any other boys in ames, iowa. they are the sons of amanda and adam. if you look closely, you'll see a difference between brayden and his twin, jacob.
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brayden is on a ventilator. >> the type of condition he has is a pretty rare form of dwarfism that affects cartilage and bone development. >> reporter: when the twins were born, jay job was fine. but brayden spent 291 days in the neonatal intensive care. their insurance company paid the bills as long as brayden was in the hospital but wouldn't cover home health care. the family was told brayden might have to be hospitalized for life. >> hearing that he would possibly be institutionalized broke my heart. >> reporter: then the family found out brayden's disability qualified him for medicaid. braid season one of 62 million people on the federal health insurance program for people who are low income, disabled or an eligible senior. >> the medicaid program was our only option to get that coverage we needed right away covered. so it was night and day between
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the ability to bring brayden home or whether he prolongs his stay in a hospital or any sort of institution. >> reporter: but the medicaid program could undergo a major overhaul. families like these worry they'll lose coverage. mitt romney and paul ryan have proposed changing the existing open-ended program into fixed allotments for each state. currently as long as people qualify, they will receive coverage. under the gop plan, states would have the flexibility of redefining who is covered. democrats say that would translate into major future cuts. >> they also want to block grant medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming ten years. >> reporter: what's known as the ryan plan would curb medicaid spending by $810 billion over ten years. federal funding could be cut by 34% over the same period. but fiscal conservatives say that is precisely the point, to rein in federal medicaid
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spending that will only continue to go up under the obama health care plan, placing more of a burden on taxpayers. >> i think the first step is to kind of set a budget and then from there, let's start talking about what policy changes, working with the states to say, how can you run your program better? >> reporter: and the romney campaign in a statement saying, quote, as a former governor, mitt romney understands that states, not the federal government, are best positioned to help their residents in need. under the romney proposal, states will have the flexibility to use federal funding to develop innovative solutions that better serve their medicaid populations, including children like braden. with the nation's debt crisis, lawmakers are facing pressure to cut spending. but talk of cuts to the medicaid program could have political repercussions. the liberal group families usa says the changes could hurt one group in a big way. >> you're going to have seniors who need long-term care who may have dementia or some other
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significant long-term set of disabilities, they're not going to get the care that they need. >> reporter: back at this family's home, braden has been thriving since coming home. >> look at you, big boy. >> reporter: reunited with his twin and his 4-year-old brother, the family says what made all the difference, the medicaid program. and in many ways, it's a philosophical question. who should make the final decisions about medicaid, states or the federal government? and what is more of a priority? curbing the deficit or expanding health coverage. >> good report, thanks very much for that, lisa. the arab world is awash in fresh anger right now. deadly violence and anti-americanti anti-american sentiment. it's especially true in pakistan. what's going on? when we come back, the message of the eruption and how the united states should respond.
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a new insult to islam.
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a french magazine published cartoons mocking the prophet muhammad. these demonstrations were some of the deadliest with more than a dozen people killed in pakistan alone. let's get some analysis from cnn's national security analyst, peter bergen. thanks for coming in. what should all of these demonstrations -- what should they be signaling the u.s. about these protests? what's going on here? >> reporter: well, i think lots of things are going on, wolf. as you know, much of the initial impetus of this was media reporting in the arab world, drawing attention to a very obscure film designed to provoke and did provoke the publication of the french cartoons. these people did so knowing that it was likely to provoke a response. and, yes, it has. at the same time, people in the extremist and muslim world are
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using this for their own purposes. and not just extremists, by the way. president karzai, the president of afghanistan, drew attention to the film mocking the prophet muhammad many days before he made any mention of the fact publicly that he was sorry to see american diplomats being killed in libya. so even mainstream muslim leaders are sort of, i think, adding to the furor that's going on. >> as you know, peter, the u.s. embassy in islamabad, pakistan, have released these psas, public service announcements, with statements from both president obama, secretary of state hillary clinton, condemning that anti-muslim video. do you think stuff like that really has an impact on the streets of the arab and muslim world? >> reporter: i don't know. but the worst it can be, it doesn't hurt. the fact that they're in the most widely spoken language in
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pakistan, the fact that they're saying, the u.s. government is not behind this film, i think that's a very good message. at the end of the day, the president and his top advisers are responsible in particular for the safety of people working in our overseas facilities. and if these kinds of messages make it less likely that our embassy or embassy officials are attacked, i think that they're important that they get out there. right now, there seems to be no understanding in the muslim world the u.s. government doesn't have anything to do with this cartoon or film. >> on another matter, i had a chance to interview the pakistani foreign minister this week in washington. she's visiting the united states. and we spoke about that pakistani doctor that seems to be implicated, sentenced to 30-plus years for helping the cia apparently locate bin laden in abbottabad. we had a conversation. here's what she told me.
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>> this doctor who is portrayed to be a hero over here has come in the way of being able to ensure that polio is no longer prevalent in pakistan. he did not know that he was on this grand mission to get obl. >> this has provoked a firestorm. a lot of angry reaction in the u.s. to the pakistani's arrest of this doctor. what do you make of this controversy? >> reporter: it makes a lot of sense. the cia would not tell anybody who didn't need to know that this is a g-20 quet bin lad this is a "get bin laden" mission. he's been charged and convicted on a slightly different supposed
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crime which is he, rather than treason, they've said that he was helping the taliban. in reality, this doctor was actually kidnapped by the taliban and actually gave them medical services, is my understanding, as a result of his kidnapping. be that as it may, jonathan pollard is still in an american prison spying for a foreign power, even a nominally friendly one is a crime in this country. and jonathan pollard was spying for israel. that was not a sufficient defense. and he's been in prison now for something like 25 years. i think the pakistanis are quite within their rights to arrest somebody who's spying for a foreign power, even if it's a nominal ally. >> peter bergen, thanks very much. "saturday night live" is having some fun at mitt romney's expense. just ahead, this week's media coverage of the gop presidential nominee, is it going too far? still make you take notice. there are a million reasons why. but your erectile dysfunction that could be a question of blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready
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"saturday night live" is having a little fun at mitt romney's expense. watch this. >> people think i'm fancy, but i like nothing more than to end the day with one of these fine hamburger sandwiches from the good people at the mcdonald's. oh, oh, boy, that's disgusting. how do you people eat this garbage? oh, my goodness, i'd complain to the chef but he doesn't speak english, right? i need to get this taste out of my mouth. do you mind? oh, my gosh, that was soda pop. oh, here comes the sugar blindness.
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>> funny stuff. let's talk a little bit about the media's coverage of mitt romney, what's been going on this past week. joining us, two journalists from the website daily-download.com. laura siteberg joins us and howard kurtz joins us as well. guys, thanks very much for coming in. a lot of fun in that "saturday night live" skit. but talk about the media, lauren, first of all. what do you think of the media's coverage this past week, as far as romney is concerned? >> the media are acting like high school bullies and kicking a man when he's down. not only are liberal columnists like maureen dowd who you would expect to kick romney beating up on him, but you have peggy noonan, former speechwriter for ronald reagan calling him weak. and like richard nixon, you have
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david brooks, conservative columnist for "the new york times" saying that his campaign is i ept. . >> i would say that romney's gotten bad press for the last two month but it's in response to self-inflicted wounds going back to the gaffe at the london olympics and the 47% video. it feeds on itself. now the narrative is mitt is a terrible candidate, whether that's fair or not. and the implication is he's not going to win this election. >> was there, howie -- some journalists are already sensing a fatal mistake that romney may have made, more than one mistake over the past couple of weeks? >> yeah, and i think what he said about nearly half the country, suggesting their freeloaders and addicted to government aid in this fund-raising video that was surreptitiously recorded, that's an important and legitimate news story.
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but i believe it tends tor poll driven. and with president obama now leading by anywhere, 5, 66, 7 points in most of the swing states -- >> come on, howie. yes, he's falling down in the polls. but i also think when a campaign is falling down in the polls that they kick him, even internally, there was a story in politico earlier this week that talked about the infighting in the campaign. and when people think they're going to lose an election, that's what happens. history has proven it. >> and "saturday night live" piling on as well. >> i was struck, howie, this little exchange -- it's just part of the interview that fareed zakaria had with former president bill clinton on this very subject. listen to this little clip. >> if you look at the numbers, obama is now leading in pretty much all the swing states. and if you think this polls are reasonably accurate, it could translate into an electoral landslide. do you think that's possible?
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>> it's possible. but we still don't know who's going to vote. >> some journalists out there are looking at the numbers, here's the question, howie -- the full interview with the president is going to be on "fareed zakaria gps" sunday. but the question is, are we overly driven by these poll number, especially in these swing states? >> wolf, journalists are addicted, obsessed with poll numbers and tend to forget that poll numbers can fluctuate very qukly. we're 45, 46 days out. we have three debates coming up. mitt romney, for all of his problems, and, yes, media piling on to a certain degree, is still within strike distance against an incumbent president. and we're going to look silly if come mid october this race is -- >> just like it was with reagan and carter.
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>> there are still three presidential debate, one vice presidential debate. the republicans have a ton of money. the polls go up and go down. there's still an opportunity for mitt romney to come back, right, lauren? >> i agree that there is the opportunity for mitt romney to come back. but the media won't leave him alone. they won't let go of what they are calling gaffes. and no one is really focusing on policy issues. that is the problem. >> but the 47% is a policy issue. and you have to be able to hit major league pitching if you're a presidential candidate. >> guys, thanks as usual for coming in. here's a question was jesus married? an ancient scrapbook reignites one of history's biggest debates. ters. wouldn't it be nice if there was an easier, less-expensive option than using a traditional lawyer? well, legalzoom came up with a better way. we took the best of the old and combined it with modern technology. together you get quality services on your terms, with total customer support. legalzoom documents have been accepted in all 50 states, and they're backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
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an ancient scrap of papyrus is reviving an equally ancient debate, was jesus married. cnn's lisa sylvester joining us once again with more. what are you finding out? >> this is something that is going to keep scholars busy for quite a while. expert who have examined it say it doesn't appear to be a forgery. it is adding to the intrigue, did jesus have a wife. it is a fragment, a faded piece of papyrus with this phrase "jesus said to them my wife." it's written in the ancient egyptian coptic language. harvard divinity school professor karen king did the translation. >> when i first saw this fragment, it was actually through a photograph. and i couldn't believe it. once we finally came to the decision that it said "jesus said to them my wife," it was really an astonishing moment.
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this new fragment actually has jesus saying "my wife." >> findings are being presented on a new documentary on the smithsonian channel, what is being called "the gospel of jesus's wife". the fragment is an intriguing element to a question that has been debated for centuries. what jesus in fact married? if so, was his wife mary magdalen? what we were talking about was written on a scrap of paper no bigger than this business card. and what is missing in all of this is context. >> very few words are legible on it. "jesus," "disciples," "wife." the question arises immediately, is this the same jesus they were talking about? there were a lot of jesuss running around in the middle east. >> although it is authentic, it is not canonical, which means it is not inspired words of god because it's not part of the
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canon, not part of the 27 books of the new testament. >> reporter: where did it come from the papyrus belongs the a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous. a preliminary examination by experts say it looks to be consistent between the third and fourth centuries. the rest, what happened to it? king says based on the condition it may have been discarded with only this heap salvaged from a garbage heap. this fragment doesn't offer a definitive conclusion, says king. >> this fragment, this new piece of papyrus evidence does not prove that he was married, nor does it prove he was not married. we have the earliest reliable historical tradition is completely silent on that. so we're in the same position we were before it was found. we don't know if he was married or not. >> reporter: perhaps a phenomenal new clue, or perhaps just a scrap of ancient text. all of this comes as the church looks at present-day issues like should priests be allowed to
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marry? should women be aloud to serve as priests? and there is a lot of fascination because we know so much about the birth, the teachings and the later life of jesus. but there are those periods in the middle that still remain a mystery, wolf. >> and probably will for a long time. thanks so much, lisa. so you may have heard of replacement referees. but what about a replacement candidate? stay with usment. crest pro-health clinical rinse. it actually keeps your teeth 91% clean of plaque even at 2 months after a dental visit. new crest pro-health clinical rinse.
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with so much chaos erupting out there on the campaign trail right now, you have to wonder if the candidates could ever wish to be replaced. here is cnn's john berman. >> reporter: wolf, mitt romney is trying to move his campaign forward now, move ahead after that 47% comment, right the ship. barack obama's been there too, trying to turn things around after a campaign mishap. one solution you never really do hear from candidates, though, why not just take a break, have someone else fill in? it's what they're doing in football right now, sort of. there is something different on america's professional football fields. league officials have locked out the regular referees and instead we have replacement refs, with varying degrees of success. >> pass interference on denver.
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>> reporter: okay, the situation might not be perfect. still, it might be attractive for certain other professions these days. take presidential candidate. >> i'll never convince them they should take responsibility and care for their lives. >> reporter: that that video surfaced from the magazine "mother jones," maybe mitt romney wishes he could find a replacement every now and then, one with a flare for language. >> it's not elegantly stated. let me put it that way. >> reporter: if it's elegance he wants, how about henry higgins from "my fair lady". >> the rain in spain stays mainly on the plane. >> reporter: that guy drips elegance. and as for connecting with the 47%, that was his job. ♪ once again, where does it rain ♪ on the plane, on the plane. >> how about a replacement for barack obama? well, there was this comment about egypt. >> i don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy.
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>> reporter: maybe a good fill-in might be james taylor. ♪ and i will be there yes, i'll be there, you've got a friend ♪ >> reporter: paul ryan? well, replacements could include alec baldwin, harrison ford, or ben affleck. they all played jack ryan in the tom clancy movies. and according to bob woodward, the president gets paul and jack confused anyway. and finally, a tough one. joe biden. how about meryl streep? honestly, she can play anyone. plus, she swears like a sailor. not just a big deal if you're playing joe biden, but. >> this is a [ bleep ]. >> reporter: the problem with politics, though, is no matter how good meryl or alec or ben might be, there is no real way to replace a candidate. to an extent, elections are the candidate. which is why everything ey